Going on a vacation outside of the country can be expensive. You have plane tickets to worry about, accommodations to consider, and food expenses to factor in. What's a traveller on a budget to do?
Well, for one, you could consider a vacation within the province - there are several cute towns in Ontario that offer plenty of fun things to do for relatively cheap. It will still require you some amount of money (for the road trip and other expenses), but it would be much more affordable than hopping on a plane.
Here are 12 cute towns to visit in Ontario if you're broke:
Note: Travel times are based on departures from Toronto.
1 h 4 min
Creemore is a small town that teems with character and heritage. Art galleries, bookshops, cafes and Victorian-era buildings are scattered throughout the city, making it seem like a place from a past time. Nearby the town is also the vast and beautiful Niagara Escarpment, which is perfect for those looking to spend some time outdoors.
1 h 17 min
Paris in Ontario has no Eiffel Tower, but it is definitely a lovely town. In fact, it's been named "the prettiest town in Canada", due to its beautiful surrounding scenery, quaint shops and cafes, and charming downtown area. Nearby the town is also the Grand River, which is a great place to walk along for nature lovers.
2 h 9 min
Stirling offers a great escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. There are several exciting things to do in the town, including shopping at the vintage boutique stores, strolling through the lively farmers' market, hopping between the amazing local restaurants, and visiting the various museums and theatres. Nature lovers will also enjoy the nearby Oak Lake, which has plenty of hiking and cycling trails.
2 h 22 min
Madoc is brimming with small-town charm. Its quiet streets are lined with quaint local shops and restaurants that are perfect for a relaxing day out. If adventure is what you seek, it's got that too - you can go ATVing and snowmobiling in the nearby trails, check out its stellar skate park, stroll through the event-filled Centre Hastings Park, or learn some town history at the O'Hara Mill and Homestead Conservation area.
2 h 24 min
Port Stanley is a village that sits on the north shore of Lake Erie in Elgin County. The town is known for its plethora of beautiful collages that line the lake shore, which can be rented during the summer months. Within the town, visitors can enjoy a variety of restaurants, hotels, shops, and theatres.
2 h 25 min
Minden is a little pocket of paradise in Haliburton County. A stroll down the Minden Riverwalk lets you take in the fantastic sights and sounds of the gorgeous town, and several cute shops and restaurants await you at the end of the path. Minden is also very close by to Algonquin Park, where adventurers can do all sorts of things; from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter to boating and swimming in the summer.
2 h 40 min
Kaladar is surrounded by breathtaking lakes, rivers and forests that are perfect for nature explorers. Ontario's Bon Echo Provincial Park, which has some of the best campsites for stargazing and canoeing, is also nearby for those who seek an outdoors adventure.
2 h 47 min
Wilberforce is known as the "Geocaching Capital of Canada" because it is abundant in thick, forested areas that are awesome for scavenger hunting. Tourists from all over the province visit the town for its scenic trails, campsites and backdrops. For a cool adventure, you can make a day trip out to the beautiful Furnace Falls, just 45-minutes away.
3 h 2 min
Maynooth is a tucked-away town in the Hastings Highlands just south-east of Algonquin Park. If you're looking for an outdoorsy adventure, you could go sunset watching with a couple of close friends at its secluded beach, or go wildlife watching in the nearby Lake St. Peter Provincial Park. If you're looking for a more local experience, you could take a tour of the several local galleries and shops in the popular Arts Route area within the town.
3 h 9 min
Sharbot Lake is a gorgeous village nearby Kingston and Gananoque. It's particularly known for its parks with beautiful lakes and sandy beaches, where fishers, boaters and swimmers flock to during the warmer months. Within the town, there are several cottage rentals and bed and breakfasts you can explore for a cozy stay.
3 h 33 min
Perth has a whole lot of old-school charm and heritage. The vintage buildings and museums that line its streets will make you feel like you've left Canada and entered some beautiful European villa. The town holds several fun events year round, so there's never a dull moment.
3 h 36 min
Barry's Bay is a small community in the Madawaska Valley. Surrounding the area are gorgeous rolling hills and valleys that add to the overall peacefulness of town. Tourists can visit several points of interest, including the historic railway station, the South of 60 Arts Centre, and the Madawaska Mountain for skiing and snowboarding.
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